Thursday, November 20, 2014

Course? Ho-hum....

A good habit (regular expression of thought) that really needs more working on. One of the most incongruous methods of learning at this age is the methodolgy of 'lectures'. When is the Force actually going to 'educate' by discussions and non quantified methods of assessment? Why test me for my prowess of recall? Why can't I learn from the experience of seniors and peers? Why can't I get a list of reading material from similar Forces? Why should I not discuss career progression and collectively prepare a road map for the way forward instead of spending time trying to cram? 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rotation for CPMF Pers./Airport Security

Wed, 19 January, 2011 8:40:11 PM---- Forwarded Message ----
I am posting an email of Prakash Singh, Ex DG BSF.

I had written a letter to the Home Secretary, Govt. of India on rotation of CPMF personnel and, in this context, suggested that the airport security duties may be re-distributed among the CPMFs. Copy of the letter is reproduced below; it was endorsed to heads of CPMFs also so that they could pursue the matter from their side.

"One of the biggest problems which the personnel of the Central Paramilitary Forces face is the absence of any rotation to what could be called ¡¥peace stations¡¦. This is particularly true for the personnel of the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Its men (and now, perhaps, women also) are moving from one tough assignment to another, and may be from one part of the country to another.

As a former Director General of the BSF, I vividly recall the enormous pressure that used to be there for postings to places like Delhi, Tekanpur (Gwalior) and Bangalore.

With the passage of years, the duties are getting tougher. It is absolutely essential that some openings are found or arrangements made so that the force personnel get rest and are able to recuperate. I have been thinking of this for some time and would take the liberty of placing my suggestions before the Ministry for consideration.

Airport duties provide a good opening. These have been assigned to the Central Industrial Security Force. The decision was rational. However, in retrospect, we have to take cognizance of the fact that this has had an adverse fall out. While CISF has become the most coveted paramilitary outfit, the other forces have become to that extent less attractive. At the examination held to recruit Assistant Commandants, it is invariably seen that the aspirants¡¦ first choice is for the CISF. Allotment to BSF or CRPF is a climb down. It is like officers opting for non-combatant wings in the defence services. Nothing strange about it, but it should be our effort to make the tougher services less unattractive or, if possible, more attractive.

My specific suggestion in this context is that the Airport Security duties should be divided among the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB and the CISF.

The following principles should govern the assignment of security duties at the Airports:

a) Airport duty should be given to a CPMF in the area of its deployment/concentration.
b) Personnel deployed at the airport, particularly at points where they have to interact with passengers, should be well educated.
c) CPMF may, if necessary, draw personnel from different battalions for the purpose.
d) These personnel should be rotated every two years.

The different paramilitary forces could be assigned security of the following airports:

BSF ¡V Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad
CRPF ¡V Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Hyderabad
ITBP ¡V Jorhat, Bagdogra, Dibrugarh, Leh
SSB ¡V Patna, Lucknow
CISF ¡V Remaining airports

The above is by way of illustration only. Once the principle is agreed upon, the details could be worked out.

The proposal may be objected to on the ground that this would amount to splitting the airport security and therefore diluting it. Knowing the nuances of security duties at the airports to the extent I do, I am quite clear that the paramilitary forces would be able to handle security of the airports in their respective areas without any problems. In fact, there could be a healthy spirit of competition among the CPMFs, with each one trying to outdo the other in professional excellence in a common area of deployment.

The proposal, if implemented, will have the following advantages:

„« All the CPMF personnel will get a share of the cake and, with it, the opportunity to rest and recuperate.
„« Other CPMFs would also become attractive.
„« A healthy spirit of competition would enhance the security at the airports.
„« It will reduce the burden on the CISF.

If, for any reason, it is felt that airport security has to be assigned to only one force, I would suggest that we may raise an Airport Security Force. Its personnel should be drawn entirely from the existing paramilitary forces in the ratio of BSF 20%, CRPF 25%, ITBP 15%, SSB 10% and CISF 30%. They should be sent on deputation for two/three years to ASF, which may have a small nucleus of permanent civilian staff.

The suggestion may be given due consideration".

Prakash Singh

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Aadya


It has been some time since I wrote. Events have a funny way of picking up speed. Or rather, Archana and I were missing out on the ‘roller-coaster ride’ that becomes part of your life when your kid is of that age where she wants to take the controls out of your hands. On July 12, Aadya was 5 month old. Around a week later, she had already started to turn over and crawl ‘backwards’. When she hit her 6 month birthday, she also started landing on her head from on top of the bed. One very good habit that she has (touch wood!!) is her sleep pattern. On a normal day, she is groggy by around 9 pm and asleep by 10. If not disturbed, she sleeps straight through the night, waking up at around 5-5.30 in the morning. I sometimes wonder how other parents cope with children who sleep in the day and spend the night, or at least most of it, wide awake. With Aadya, even the slightest sound will disturb her sleep in the day and (it has been our experience) the loudest of music will seem a lullaby in the night.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Nice Piece By Vir Singhvi


We need the paramilitary forces just as much as we need the army (NEW)


Posted By: Vir Sanghvi | Posted On: 09 Apr 2010 07:55 PM | Views: 6402


Am I the only person to think that there is something strange about our attitude to the paramilitary forces? We worship our regular armed forces, routinely referring to our army as the ‘finest army in the world’ and treating it as the symbol of Indian patriotism and pride. But the paramilitary forces are a different matter altogether.

This was driven home to me by the way in which we responded to the murder of 74 (or perhaps more; there seems to be no universally accepted figure) paramilitary jawans by Maoists in Chhatisgarh. The number is not small. In the entire Kargil operation, the Indian army lost 585 men. Here, these jawans lost their lives in a single ambush.

And yet, our reactions ranged from ‘it is time to crackdown on these Maoists’ (the most common response) to ‘these men were there to attack the Maoists so they should have expected to be ambushed’ (the view of a radical chic lunatic fringe).

Imagine now how we would have reacted if over 70 Indian army jawans had been killed within a few hours. Not only would the outrage have been greater but we would have focused more on the individual victims, their stories, the families they left behind, etc.

But in the case of the paramilitary jawans, we acted as though they were cannon fodder and TV discussions focused on their foolishness (or the stupidity of their commanders) in walking into the Maoist ambush. In contrast, it is a well-established principle of discourse in India that you can never criticize the army, call its officers stupid or draw attention to any mistakes it might have made. As far as we are concerned, the army can do no wrong. The paramilitary forces, however, are not treated with any such deference.

You saw this in the way their commanders behaved in the aftermath of Kargil. Anybody who dared suggest that the Generals had screwed up by looking the other way when the Pakistanis took over our bunkers was treated as a traitor by the army. Here, the commanders of the paramilitary outfits struggle to find explanations to satisfy their critics.

In the aftermath of the Maoist attack, the Chief of Air Staff was asked about the possibility of air cover to support an offensive against the Naxals. He ruled it out arguing that the Air Force was not meant to be used against our own people. (Perhaps only the army, which has been used in Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Kashmir and many other places, is meant for this purpose judging by the Air Chief’s assertion.) Can you imagine the head of any paramilitary force daring to talk this way? The poor man would lose his job instantly.

We see the difference in the way we react to jawans from the paramilitary forces. When we go to the airport and are stopped by CISF jawans, we cooperate grudgingly. We neither respect them in the way that we would respect jawans from the regular army nor are we intimidated by them as we would be if they were policemen.

"The CRPF may not be as glamorous as the Indian army. But its men shed blood so that you and I can be safe."

All criticism has to follow a similar double standard. In the aftermath of 26/11, all of us were (quite justifiably) critical of the Bombay police who flopped spectacularly. But even as we rushed to condemn the police we were less willing to criticize the navy even though its commandos had behaved disgracefully by holding a press conference and hogging the limelight even while the operation was still in progress. Those who were at all critical of the navy (such as myself) faced a barrage of protest.

Nor were we allowed to say very much about the then naval chief, a boorish loudmouth, who attacked the media for no logical reason. (He was rewarded by being appointed High Commissioner while the Bombay policemen were sacked and the head of the NSG – a paramilitary outfit of sorts – was allowed to retire without any of the rewards that were his due even though it was his force that successfully cleared the Taj, the Oberoi and Nariman House).

Why do we feel so differently about paramilitary forces? Why are they so rarely accorded the deference and respect that the armed forces take for granted?

It is a tough one so let’s take it bit by bit. First of all, I actually approve of the exaggerated deference with which we treat the armed forces. I do not believe that the Indian army is actually the finest fighting force in the world or that all of its officers are spotlessly clean. (Look at the recent corruption scandal in the top echelons of the army.)

But I do believe that India owes a huge debt to our armed forces. Elsewhere in the sub-continent, the army has been lured into governance. The Pakistani and Bangladeshi armies have staged coups. The Sri Lankan army is uncomfortably close to wanting a share of power. And the Nepal army is a player in the country’s politics.

One reason why India has remained a democracy is because our army has remained far away from politics, even when it has had to suffer insults from the political class.

If the price we have to pay for this is an exaggerated deference for the army, then it is a small price. We have much to thank the army for.

But why then does this deference not extend to the paramilitary forces?

One of the reasons, I suspect, is sheer ignorance. We can all name the Service Chiefs but how many of us can name the heads of the CRPF, the BSF, the CISF or the NSG? As far as we are concerned, these forces are not on our radar. Few of us even know what the CRPF does or how the BSF is constituted. Paramilitary forces do not have parades that are widely covered, they are little written about and few of them bother to brag about victories or triumphs.

Another reason is that while we see the army as being distinct from the corrupt Indian system of governance (which, by and large, it is), we see the police as being as tainted and corrupted as the political class. And many of the paramilitary forces seem to us to be no more than fancy police battalions. The CRPF is actually the Central Reserve Police Force, and the BSF, CISF and NSG usually have police officers in key posts. Thus these forces are not seen as being at all like the army and suffer accordingly in public esteem.

A third reason is that we are not clear what we have to thank the paramilitary for. We know that we remain a secure and independent country because the army guards our borders and fights our enemies. But what do these forces do? How do their actions benefit us?

The truth, of course, is that we should be grateful to these forces. Neither the air force nor the navy have had to do very much since 1971. But the paramilitary forces risk their lives fighting for our safety every day – as the deaths of CRPF jawans in the Maoist ambush demonstrate.

There was a time when our enemies were without. But now they are within. And so we need the paramilitary just as much as we need the army. The armed forces fight for us once every decade. These guys do it all the time.

So the time has come for us to rethink our attitudes to these forces and to care more for those jawans who are left bleeding by India’s internal enemies. The CRPF may not be as glamorous as the Indian army. But its men shed blood so that you and I can be safe.

View Associated Article

Comments

HOWLER
11 Apr 2010

Remember, Kargil was intrusions into your own territory right under Army’s nose! And in a situation where the “elite”, lean, mean and “professionally trained” Indian Army was sitting right there to arrest any such attempt & to repulse it. So, our “well trained” Army acted thoroughly “professionally” in first allowing the intrusions to take place and our own posts to be occupied by the enemy and took heavy casualties in cleaning its own created shit!


HOWLER
11 Apr 2010

The brouhaha that has been created regarding the capabilities of CRPF or other paramilitary forces in the light of CRPFs tragedy in Dantewada is sheer nonsensical and totally detached from the ground situation. To say CRPF or any other paramilitary force is poorly trained and is afflicted by poor leadership is only partially correct. Holding CRPF responsible for its own deaths is only as much true as holding Army responsible for its own deaths in the Kargil operations.


valour-arjun
10 Apr 2010

Nice article, Vir. When Institutions such as IISS compare the military strengths they actually count the paramilitary. Given the variety of Jobs paramilitary are involved in, I agree, they should be taken care of and well respected just as the regular army.





Web Site for CPMF Welfare


Please check this link

http://aicpmfewa.org/proposals

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Central forces officers rue losing promotions to IPS cadre

PIONEER 15TH MARCH 2010

Kumar Shakti Shekhar | New Delhi

The morale of the cadre officers of Central Para-military Forces (CPMFs), particularly CRPF and BSF, aspiring to become Additional Directors General (ADGs) has never been as low as it is now. Though promotional avenues for these officers vis-a-vis the IPS officers on deputation in these two forces have always been highly lop-sided, three recent orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have dashed all hopes of them getting a better deal.

Taking note of the stagnation in Group 'A' posts of the CPMFs, the Sixth Central Pay Commission had observed that this issue would be properly addressed to only if a larger number of posts was reserved for their cadre officers and not the IPS officers or deputations, as they are called.

The Commission, therefore, recommended that "all posts up to the rank of DIG should henceforth be filled by promotion from amongst the officers of respective CPMFs. Fifty per cent of the posts in the grade of IG and above (Additional DG, Special DG and DG) should be allowed to be filled on promotion of eligible Cadre Officers".

However, the cadre officers feel that three "contradictory" letters of the MHA have taken away from them from left hand what were given to them from the right hand.

An MHA letter of November 11 last year, quoting Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), regarding filling up the post of ADG in CRPF and BSF, the largest of the CPMFs, said, "As regard the point raised about the roster of vacancies, it is clarified that while the existing one may continue, allocation of vacancies henceforth will be among the two methods of promotion and deputation. The first vacancy may go to promotion, the next two to deputation, the next to promotion, the next to deputation and so on."

Just a week after this letter, the MHA issued a corrigendum, saying, "The last sentence of Para 2 of this Ministry's UO referred to above may be read as under: The first vacancy may go to promotion, the next two to deputation, the next to promotion, the next two to deputation, and so on."

The cadre officers say according to the first order, they had got 50 per cent of the posts of ADG, as recommended by the Commission. A senior cadre officer alleged, "We are sure the IPS officers exerted pressure on the MHA and cut our share in the post of ADG from 50 per cent to 33 per cent."

However, the worst for the cadre officers came in the form of the third and latest order dated Dec 7, which reduced the share of the cadre officers for the post of ADG to 25 per cent.

The order says, "The matter regarding allocation of posts of ADG in CRPF and BSF to IPS and cadre officers has been reconsidered. It is clarified that prior to the creation of one additional post of ADG in BSF and CRPF, both Forces had three posts each of ADG, which were all filled up by deputation of IPS officers. The newly-created fourth post of ADG, approved by Cabinet in 2008 should be earmarked for being filled up by promotion from within the cadre….In view of above, it has been decided that while the newly-created fourth post of ADG in BSF and CRPF is filled up by promotion of cadre officers, the three posts of ADGs which existed prior to the creation of the new post continue to be filled up by deputationists."

Even for the posts IG and DIG, the cadre officers have a strong feeling that they are being discriminated against. There is a huge gap of about 14 years between the cadre and IPS officers. A cadre officer said, "A cadre officer who has put in over 37 years of service and was eligible to become an IG in 24 years of service is still a DIG whereas an IPS officer becomes an IG in just about 13 years of service."

The 9500-strong Group 'A' cadre officers rue that their problem is compounded by the fact that they cannot form any forum for redressal of their grievances as the IPS officers are at all the high echelons. "We do not even have an officer of Joint Secretary rank in MHA who can take up our issues with the Government. How can we motivate our forces when we ourselves are demoralised? We have but to grumble and feel suffocated without letting the Ministry know," another officer said.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

VRS in CPOs vs Army



The number of jawans and officers, who resigned or sought voluntary retirement, during last three years in Central Police Organisation (CPO), force-wise, year-wise is as under :

Forces

Details of officers and jawans who Resigned or sought Voluntary retirement

No of personnel who committed suicide during the year

Incidents of fratricide during the year

2007

2008

2009

2007

2008

2009

2007

2008

2009

CRPF

1381

1791

3855

46

46

28

04

04

05

BSF

2251

3703

6537

35

29

26

01

04

01

CISF

629

704

1196

11

12

14

-

-

02

ITBP

119

257

957

03

04

06

-

-

01

SSB

335

341

593

03

05

11

-

03

01

AssamRifles

2091

995

1280

13

11

09

-

01

06

NSG

--

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

NIA

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

BPR&D

01

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

IB

97

108

149

-

01

01

-

-

-

SVPNPA

-

01

-

-

-

01

-

-

-

NEPA

01

-

04

--

-

01

-

-

-

LNJN NICFS

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

CSFI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

NCRB

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

NCB

--

-

05

-

-

-

-

-

-

Officers and jawans resigned or sought voluntary retirement citing personal/domestic reasons or for taking up other jobs etc. Suicides largely due to personal/domestic problems of jawans. Incidents or fratricide occurred in the Force, to accidental fire, disputes and disagreements between troops and sometimes psychological issues. Details regarding Army are as under :

Forces

Details of officers and jawans who Resigned or sought Voluntary retirement

No of personnel who committed suicide during the year

Incidents of fratricide during the year

2007

2008

2009

2007

2008

2009

2007

2008

2009

Army

8698

7775

4167

118

123

85

07

03

01

This was stated by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Mullappally Ramachandran, in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.